IMG_5782Many people have asked what actually occurs in the workshops, so I thought I’d write a blog about it.  So here goes…

The first thing I like to do in class is find out from the participants how much experience they have painting.  It can range from someone like my sister-in-law (bless her heart!) who can’t paint a sample on the wall, to people who have been painting for years and just want to learn some new techniques.  One of the main reasons people like to take my class is to see for themselves what all the fuss is about chalk-style paint.  I’m always thrilled to introduce them to Websters Chalk Paint Powder – the 100% natural additive that turns any latex paint into affordable and beautiful “chalk paint.”

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I always like to talk a little about the history of “chalk paint” – that it, in various forms, has been around for, oh uh, millennia.  What do you think the cave people used for their cave art?  Chalk paint! –  pigments mixed with natural minerals like calcium carbonate, magnesium, and limestone.

Next I like to talk about what makes chalk paint, specifically, Websters Chalk Paint Powder the best medium to use for your DIY projects.  Did you know that you can use it on finished wood, bare wood, laminate, and ceramic and metal?  And usually with very little to no prep-work.  How great is that?!

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After talking briefly about how to clean and prepare your project to be painted, we mix up the paint.  In the workshop I give my recommendation as to which brand of paint I like to mix with Websters – a paint & primer in one product is best – and tips for getting the smoothest finish.

Next comes the fun part!  The painting!  Workshop participants get to choose one color to paint their unfinished tray.  (If you let me know your favorite color ahead of time, I’ll have it there for you!)  But otherwise, I have about ten of my favorite hues for you to choose from.

Websters covers so well that we only need to do one coat (even on bare wood!), which is a good thing, because my class is only two hours long!  After the first coat is applied, participants can take a quick break to stretch their legs and browse around the shop.  I, on the other hand, whip out my blow-dryer to help along the drying process.

sanding trays

Once everyone is re-seated, it is time to de-stress.  Just relax and breath.  No, just kidding, I meant DISTRESS, as in, hit the edges with some sandpaper to create a little “shabby chic” look.  I give participants a couple different techniques to use (wet, dry) and even show you a tip on how to cut and hold the sandpaper to maximize your effort and minimize your time and waste.

wax

Next comes the wax.  Ahhhh, the wax.  Fiddes Wax polish is what you use to finish and preserve your freshly-painted surface.  This is where the magic truly happens.  We start with applying the clear wax.  This seals the paint and gets it ready to accept the dark wax.  Fiddes offers two dark waxes. Rugger Brown is a light brown that will just take the edge off of a bright color and give it some dimension.  Jacobean is a super-dark wax that is meant to really give an antique look to your piece.  Participants are able to choose which look they want to achieve and are taught several techniques to apply it.

applying dark waxAfter the light and dark waxes are applied, it is time to buff.  Unlike other waxes I’ve used, Fiddes wax is super-easy to apply and dries quickly, which means you don’t have to wait 24 hours to buff.  A brisk rub with a soft cloth is all you need to bring out the amazing shine.

So there you have it!  In two hours you will learn everything you need to  confidently tackle your own projects with Websters Chalk Paint Powder and you will leave with a beautiful tray you can proudly display in your home.

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Check out our workshop schedule and register for one by calling Teresa at 804-855-9371 or stop by the front desk at Odd Balls Antiques & More.